The Things We Do for Love

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In DC and the Caribbean, Haggerty protects a rock icon’s life

Jane Doe and the Pleasure Principal are halfway through their Memorial Day concert when the crowd gets violent. A fan charges Jane, but is caught by a security guard, who tosses him off the stage, shattering both his legs. A few weeks later, the fan is suing the band for damages, and a series of death threats have Jane fearing for her life. She needs a bodyguard who’s willing to crack skulls to keep her safe. She needs Leo Haggerty.
 
A bruising DC private investigator, Haggerty agrees to guard Jane for the forty-eight hours leading up to the deposition. As her feuding band mates threaten to tear the group apart, danger comes at Jane from all sides—starting in Washington and following them all the way to the Caribbean.
 
The Things We Do for Love is the 4th book in the Leo Haggerty Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
 

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Publié par
Date de parution 23 février 2016
Nombre de visites sur la page 6
EAN13 9781480493254
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0075 €. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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Get chilling stories of
true crime, mystery, horror,
and the paranormal,
twice a week.The Things We Do For Love
A Leo Haggerty Mystery
Benjamin M. Schutz
MYSTERIOUSPRESS.COMFor my brothers
Mark and Adam
All for one and one for all .The nature of evil may be epitomized, therefore, in two simple but horrible
and holy propositions: “Things Fade” and “Alternatives Exclude.”
JOHN GARDNER
G r e n d e lCHAPTER 1
A hedgehog, I thought. He looks like a hedgehog with that haircut. And not so much tanned
as microwaved on all sides.
“Leo, I’d like you to meet Nick Ballantine,” Walter O’Neil said as he stood up behind his
desk and gestured to the man seated on his right.
I walked across the room and stuck out my hand. Nick Ballantine had jumped up out of
his chair and was pumping my hand with both of his.
“How do you do, Mr. Ballantine.”
“Nicky, call me Nicky, everybody does,” he said smiling around well-capped teeth.
“Okay,” I said dubiously and gave Nicky the once-over. Running shoes, gray warm-up
pants, pastel pink shirt open at the neck and a gold chain thick enough for the Queen
Mary’s anchor. Turning back to Walt, I asked “What’s this job you might have for me?”
Walt motioned for me to sit. “Actually, it’s Mr. Ballantine who might have some work for
you.”
I sat and turned toward good ol’ Nicky. On cue he fired up his smile. “Heard good things
about you, Leo. Very good indeed. You might be just the guy we’re looking for.”
“And what exactly are you looking for, Mr. Ballantine?”
“A bodyguard.”
“For yourself?”
“Nah,” he said shaking his head. “You ever heard of Jane Doe and the Pleasure
Principle?”
“No. I can’t say that I have.” Nicky took the news well.
“Well, I’m their manager. We’ve had some threats against the group’s lead singer, Jane
Doe.”
“What kind of threats?”
“Letters sent to the fan club. Really sick shit.”
“Anything else? Phone calls? Any actual attempts made?”
“No. Just the letters.”
“Are they recent or have they been coming in for a while?”
“Just recently. The last couple of weeks, I guess.”
“Any idea who might be sending them? Does she have any enemies?”
“I have no idea who’s doing this. Does she have enemies? Sure. Hell, this is a cutthroat
business. Everybody’s always climbing over each other to get to the top and kicking each
other in the face to stay there. But murder? Hey, no way. See them fall on their face,
though, sure.”
Nick stopped for a second to take a sip of his drink, then started up again.
“So, can you do the job? We need to know, you know, like right away.” His left foot
tapped away at an invisible bass drum.
“Whoa. I need to know a few things first. What’s the rush?”
Walt answered. “She’s flying in the day after tomorrow for a deposition on Thursday
morning.”
“A deposition on what?”
“A lawsuit has been filed against the entire group and Mr. Ballantine.”
“Alleging what?”
“That they did negligently entrust stage security at this year’s Memorial Day concert to
one Jimmy Joe Scruggs.” Walt tented his fingers as he went on reciting the allegations
verbatim from memory. “Mr. Scruggs did violently and without provocation throw one Mark
Trumbull off the stage resulting in two broken legs and permanent loss of functioning. Theperformers and their management should have known of Mr. Scruggs prior record of
violence and never entrusted him with a position where he might endanger the public.” Walt
smiled. “There’s no mention that one Mark Trumbull was apprehended in the act of
attempting to kiss and fondle the lead singer of the group.”
“Any possibility that it’s this guy or his friends that are sending the letters? Trying to rattle
the opposition?”
“That’s possible, Leo. They’re playing hardball on this case all the way down the line.”
“What are they asking for?”
“A million even. We’ve offered fifty thousand to settle.”
“This shit couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” Nicky piped up. “Right now we’re this
close.…” He held up his thumb and forefinger to show me just how close. I’d left my calipers
in my other jacket so I couldn’t fully appreciate where we stood. “… this close to making it
this time. We’ve got a major label interested but they won’t close the deal until this shit is
behind us. They want us to be able to go right into the studio with our heads on straight and
turn out some product. That’s where you come in, Leo. The label understands that we need
some security for Jane while she’s here in town but they’ve made it clear it has to be
professional and low profile, very low profile.”
“When you say low profile, what do you have in mind?”
“Well, frankly, we were wondering if you could do the job by yourself. I mean this has to
be low profile, like invisible city. We’re looking for a guy who can use his head. It’s dumb
muscle that got us into this shit in the first place. And like I said, you come highly
recommended.”
“By whom, might I ask?”
“John Franklin of Franklin Security Systems. He said you were one of the best men he’d
ever had.”
“That’s very kind of him to say that.” Rocky Franklin had been my first mentor. I’d spent
five years learning the bodyguard trade from him. He now ran a national firm specializing in
corporate security. “Why not take this to them? I’m sure they can handle it.”
“We did,” Walt said apologetically. “All their teams are in the field. Rocky recommended
that we see if you wanted to run the operation.”
“Okay. I understand your problems but as a professional I’m telling you it can’t be done by
one man. If I’m given some control over where she stays and her itinerary, I can do it with
one other guy. He’ll be the driver and my back-up.”
“Okay, just the two of you. And you’ll vouch for this other guy?” Nick asked.
“Absolutely, if I can get the guy I want. We’ve worked together a number of times.”
“Fine. What else do you need to know?”
“Where and when is she coming in?”
“Dulles, Wednesday. She’s catching the 8 a.m. flight out of LAX arriving here about 4
p.m.”
“Whose name is she traveling under?”
“Mine. I bought the tickets, or rather Ballantine Talent Management bought them.”
“Good. Is she traveling alone?”
“Yes. The band is already out here. Their depositions are tomorrow.”
“Fine. Tell her to travel light. Only hand-carried luggage. I want to be in and out of the
airport quickly.”
“Okay. Anything else?”
“Where is she supposed to stay?”
“At the Willard.”
“No good. It’s too large. Let me see if I can get her into the Duncaster. It’s a lot smaller
and the penthouse is easy to secure. I’ve used it before.”
“Is it nice?” he asked, just avoiding a whine.“It’ll do. No place is nice enough to die in.” I mulled over my options for a moment and
then said, “Okay. If I can get the driver I want and the Duncaster penthouse, I’ll do the job.
Otherwise it’s no go, it’s too risky.”
“When will you know?”
“I’ll call you tonight. If it’s a go I’ll need to look at those letters and see a detailed itinerary.
You might want to start rounding that stuff up for me.”
“Okay. Fine. Sure. No problem.”
“I have one other question. Does this Jane Doe use drugs?”
Nick looked at Walt briefly, then back at me. “Why do you need to know that?”
“Because it’s hard enough to do this job right with a terrified and docile client. Rock ’n’
rollers are notoriously bad clients because half the time they’re tooted out of their skulls and
can’t follow any orders. Bodyguarding rock ’n’ rollers is like taking a bunch of chimpanzees
to church. So what’s her drug-use like?”
“She’s really not too bad that way. At least not nowadays. She’s a juicer. Binges. But
she’s been straight the whole time we were out in L. A. shooting the video.”
“Fine. Last item is my fee. Once I take the job it’s fifty bucks an hour plus expenses for
the groundwork, setting up the hotel and so on. You’ll get an itemized bill for that. Once
she’s on site and I’m directly responsible for her my fee is five thousand dollars a day plus
expenses.”
“Jesus Christ.” Nick’s eyebrows tried to take flight.
“For that you get two professionals round the clock and a custom-rigged car. If you think
that’s too much, remember that I may wind up stepping in front of an absolute stranger
named Jane Doe and taking a slug meant for her. So what is it?”
Nick rubbed his chin, then said “Okay, okay. She’s worth it. I’ll get the label to come
through with the money.”
“Fine. I have a couple of people to see. If I can line up what I need it’s a go. Where can I
reach you tonight?”
“Uh, I’m at the Willard. Room 914.”
“Fine. I’ll call you this evening. Good day.…” I bit off his name just before I said it. “Walt,
I’ll be in touch.” With that I stood up and left. My next stop was the office of Dave Isaacs,
wheelman extraordinaire.CHAPTER 2
Driving over to Davey’s, I called the Duncaster Hotel and asked for Martin Duncaster, the
manager.
The penthouse and the room below it were available. I told Duncaster to book them in the
name of S. T. Miller. I would also need the security garage.
Dave Isaacs lived in Prince Georges County, the redneck suburb of Washington, D.C.
Liberal money annexed Montgomery County, conservative money took Fairfax. Prince
Georges was where the working-class whites had fled when they abandoned the District of
Columbia.
I pulled up in front of Dave’s house. His wife Donna was standing on the lawn watching
one of the twins ride up and down the sidewalk. The baby rode on her right hip.
“Hello, Donna. Is Davey in the shop?”
She blew a jet of smoke and squinted at me through the backwash. “What do you want,
Leo?”
“It’s business, Donna. I’ve got a job for him.”
“What if he don’t want your work anymore.”
“That’s fine, Donna. I’ll leave. I’d like to hear it from him, that’s all.”
“Yeah, he’s in the shop.” With that Donna threw her cigarette down, ground it out and
yelled over her shoulder “Jonathan, you come here this minute.”
The boy, three years old and clad in size 0 army fatigues, whined back, “Aw, mom, I
never …”
“That’s enough, Jonathan. Come here now. Do as I say.” Donna stalked off. I thought of
her as a piece of denim-clad gristle. Tough all the way through and enduring.
Davey’s office was his two-bay garage. He was under a Checker sedan when I kicked the
sole of his shoe.
“Who is it?”
“It’s Leo, Davey. Can we talk?”
“Is Donna around?”
“She’s already seen me, Davey. Come on out.”
“Okay.” He slid out from under the car. I held out my hand to help him up.
“So, what brings you out here, Leo?” he asked while he wiped the grime and oil off his
hands.
“I’ve got a job. I need a driver and a backup. Are you available?”
Davey continued wiping his hands. “Long as Donna knows you’re here, let’s go inside, get
a beer.”
I followed him into the house. Dave handed me a beer from the fridge and popped one
himself. He looked out the kitchen window. Donna was watching the twins on the swings.
The baby bounced on her left hip.
“Tell me about it, Leo,” he said before he took a long pull on the beer.
“It’s a quickie, an overnighter. In and out.”
“Who is the target?”
“Rock ’n’ roll singer. A woman. She’s been getting hate-mail.”
“Donna’d like to send her some. She thinks MTV is trash. Oh well.” Dave took another
pull. I followed suit.
“Who’s the opposition?”
“No idea. I think this is amateur night, though. No reason to believe there are any pros
involved. These people attract wackos. The ones who can’t tell where their world ends and
yours starts.”“How much?”
“I can get twenty-five-hundred a day, plus expenses for the car.” Dave puckered his
mouth, sucked on his lip and stared out at his wife. I turned away and leaned up against the
counter. Davey exhaled slowly, maybe sadly. “Why’d you come out here, Leo? Everybody
knows I’m retired.”
“You know me, Dave. I’m a very cautious guy. I don’t want to leave anything to chance,
so I only work with the best. You’re the best. That’s why I’m here.” I shrugged my shoulder.
“I just wanted to offer it to you first, Dave, that’s all. If you’re retired, you’re retired.” I set
down my beer.
Dave put his hand on my forearm. “Twenty-five-hundred a day, plus expenses on the car,
that’s the deal?”
“Yeah. That’s the deal. We’re splitting the fee fifty-fifty.”
“Christ, that’s good money. God knows I could use it. Just an overnighter, right?”
“That’s what it looks like, Dave. You know there aren’t any guarantees. If you’re in, you
have to be in all the way to the end. What do you say?”
“All right. I’m in.” Davey’s eyes were closed and he was shaking his head as he said it.
“Thanks. This is a low-profile job. Just you and me. I’ll get the itinerary tonight and call you
so you can check out the routes you want to take.”
“Fine. Where are we staying?”
“The Duncaster. You’ll have the room below the penthouse and the security berth for the
car.”
“What should I wear?”
“I don’t know yet, but the way these people dress, we’ll stand out if we don’t look strange.”
“Are we carrying?”
“Yeah. Do you have a piece?”
“Yeah. My permit’s still good, too. What do you want in a vehicle?”
“Something low-key. No bubble-top stretch limo, that’s for sure. How about a sedan, four
doors. Kevlar body panels, tinted bullet-proof glass, reinforced bumpers, self-sealing tires,
locks on the hood, trunk and gas, with a big mill underneath.”
“No problem. When do we need it?”
“Kickoff’s Wednesday around four o’clock.”
“No problem.”
“Thanks again, Dave. I’ll be in touch.” I clapped him on the shoulder and let myself out the
front door.
Ballantine answered my call on the first ring. I told him that I’d lined up what I needed and
that I’d be by to pick up the letters and itinerary in about forty-five minutes.
The Willard was once one of the grand hotels of Washington. After a lengthy and very
expensive renovation it is once again. After parking my car, I fished out a blank contract
from the glove compartment, walked into the Willard and took the elevator up to Ballantine’s
room.
He opened the door as soon as I knocked. A drink was in his left hand and as he stepped
away I saw a young woman sitting beyond his left shoulder.
“Leo, come on in. Boy, am I glad to have you on our team.” As he waved me in he
introduced me to his company. “Uh, this is Margo Rollins, my administrative assistant.
Margo, this is Leo Haggerty, a …”
“Consultant.” I cut in.
“Right, a consultant. Well, let me get together the stuff you wanted. Would you like a
drink? I’ve got a pitcher of martinis made up.”
“That’s fine. Thank you.”
“Margo, would you get Leo a drink, please, while I find this stuff.” While Ballantine hustled
off into the bedroom to find the papers, Margo slowly uncoiled herself from the sofa andwent to the bar. The martini she handed me was dry enough to bleach the olive. Margo slid
into her seat on the sofa as Ballantine returned.
“Here are the letters you wanted, and the itinerary. Do you need anything else?”
“Yeah. A retainer check.”
“For how much?”
“The whole amount now. Expenses when I send you a bill.”
“Okay, my checkbook is in the bedroom. I’ll get it.” I followed Ballantine through the door
and shut it behind me. He slipped the checkbook out of a pocket on a piece of soft-sided
safari luggage. I pulled out my contract and handed it to him.
“What’s this?”
“My fee-for-services agreement. Read it and sign at the bottom.”
Ballantine looked like he was going to balk, then walked over to the bed, sat down and
flipped on the nightstand light. When he was done, he looked up at me. “Okay, I’ll sign it.
But I want to add a clause.”
“Saying what?”
“That even if your involvement with Jane becomes a matter of public knowledge you will
refrain from discussing any aspects of her personal life or the band’s business dealings with
anyone. I don’t want to read an exclusive in the Daily Sleezebag six months from now where
you’re quoted as saying she sleeps in the closet like a bat or any other shit. Understood?”
“Fine. Write it in.” While he scribbled in the margins, Ballantine asked what I was going to
do next.
“I’ll go to the fan club tomorrow and talk to them about what I want done with any other
letters they get. I’ll check out the hotel and sweep the room and review all this stuff.” I
waved the packet of letters at him. “That reminds me, I need the fan club address.”
Ballantine initialed his inserted clause, signed the contract and handed it and a check to
me. While I signed everything he opened the door and bellowed at Margo.
“Margo, get out a P. R. package for Mr. Haggerty.” To me he said, “That’s got bios and
pix of all the band members. The address is in there.” Then he brightened.
“You ever heard their stuff?”
“No, can’t say that I have.”
“Hold on a minute.” He rummaged around in the dresser drawers. “Here, this is a tape of
the latest album. I’ve got a copy of the new video here too. You own a VCR?”
“Yeah.”
“That …” he said, pointing to the videotape, “is what got us this offer. It cost a bundle to
produce, but wait’ll you see it. Their performance is a scorcher.” Frowning at the empty
doorway, he yelled “Margo.”
Margo appeared in the doorway, a glossy folder in her hands. She’d thrown a bored look
over her face to cover her anger, but she smoldered like a fire under a blanket. Nicky-baby
might get a little singed tonight.
I sidled by Margo and took the folder from her. “Thank you, Margo. Ballantine, I’ll see
myself out. I’ll call you Wednesday to nail down the final details.” As I passed Margo, she
gave me a spine-tingling smile. I didn’t mind her using me to set Nicky on fire.CHAPTER 3
After stopping to deposit Ballantine’s check I drove home. There I went through the mail,
picked up messages from my answering service and opened up a file under the name of
Ballantine/Jane Doe. That done, I called Rocky Franklin to thank him for the referral.
Rocky’s voice boomed in my ear. “Leo, how are you?”
“Fine, Rocky. Just fine. I just called to thank you for the referral.”
“Oh, yeah. That Ballantine guy. Sure. Are you going to take it?”
“Yeah. Me and Davey Isaacs.”
“Good. Should be interesting. You ever seen this Jane Doe?”
“No.”
“Ballantine sent me a video of her, trying to close the deal, I guess. What a jerk. You don’t
want your security hot and bothered, you want ’em stone cold. I figured you’d be immune to
all that nonsense, what with Samantha around full-time. How is she?”
“She’s fine. She’s holed up in her apartment revising her novel, so I haven’t seen much of
her recently, but everything’s going well.”
“Good. Glad to hear it. That brings me to something I want you to think about. I’m in the
process of buying out Richardson & Bass and taking over their investigative business. I want
to branch out beyond security and I need a director to run the shop. Someone who knows
investigative work, someone I can trust. What do you say? You aren’t a kid anymore. Why
not get off the streets and leave it to the next generation?”
“I don’t know, Rocky. Let me think about it, okay? When do you have to know?”
“Not right away. We’re still dickering over this buyout. How about a week? Otherwise I’ll
have to look elsewhere. If you’re interested then we can talk terms.”
I told Rocky I’d give it some thought.
His offer was disturbing. Samantha had recently been working up to saying the “C” word.
I’d seen her mouthing it in front of the mirror. Children. Her biological clock was ticking away
and she was running out of time for a low-risk pregnancy. When she was ready to raise the
issue would I shrug my shoulders and claim that my work made being a father impossible?
Would I slip the handsome cloak of necessity over what was probably simple greed? “Can’t”
sounds so much better than “won’t.” I’d have to start practicing in front of the mirror too.
“Can’t.”
I found myself calling Randi Benson, my sixteen-year-old foster daughter. Three years
ago her father and I reached an agreement. I got Randi to raise and he didn’t get jail for
molesting her. Her dorm receptionist went to get her.
“Hi, Leo. What’s up?” she chirped into the phone.
“Nothing much. Listen, I have a question for you. Have you ever heard of a group called
Jane Doe and the Pleasure Principle?”
“Sure. They’re outrageous. I love The Axeman.”
“The what?”
“The Axeman, Axel Andersson, the lead guitarist. He’s incredible.”
“Have you ever seen them?”
“No, I haven’t,” she said pointedly. “You nixed that Halloween concert last year. Don’t you
remember?” I could see her, in my mind, her hands on her hips and her face scrunched up
like a skunk had just farted.
“No, I don’t, but I’m sure I had a good reason. What was it?”
“You grounded me because I’d broken curfew.”
“There you go. Do they get much airplay?”
“WHFS plays them a lot. They’re getting onto 107 and DC101 now that their album is out.